Questions tagged [oil]

Fats from plant sources that are liquid at room temperature, such as olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil. Questions about the use of oils or about which oils to choose for a specific culinary purpose are appropriate here. As per the FAQ, please avoid asking about health matters in this tag unless you have a *specific* nutritional question - for example, the effect of saturation on smoke point.

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104
votes
14answers
226k views

Do you heat the pan first, then add oil? Or put the oil in and heat up with the pan?

As the title says... I personally heat up the pan first, then put the oil in and after it's heated up add the ingredients. I go with the line of reasoning that doing it this way gives the oil less ...
54
votes
2answers
124k views

Why can applesauce be used in place of oil?

In many recipes, mostly desserts, it is suggested that you can substitute oil with applesauce to reduce the fat content. But why applesauce? Is there something special about applesauce or are there ...
50
votes
12answers
50k views

When you cook spaghetti, do you add olive oil to the boiling water?

Many people (at least in Germany) think that Italians add olive oil to the boiling water for spaghetti. However, Italians tend to tell the opposite (from my experience). So, can you please state ...
49
votes
14answers
50k views

What's the proper way to dispose of used fats & oils?

Down the drain? Does it depend on the type? With bacon fat, I usually let it solidify in a cup lined with foil, and then throw it out. With used canola oil, I'm not quite sure what to do because it ...
45
votes
12answers
149k views

Frying Oil Reuse

What are some guidelines or rules with regard to filtering and reusing (vegetable/canola/sunflower) oil that has been used for deep frying? Is it safe and acceptable under some circumstances to ...
34
votes
3answers
7k views

What oil or fat to use for different purposes?

I understand that one of the main reasons to use different kinds of fat or oil is the temperature at which it burns, e.g. an extra-virgin olive oil to fry a steak wouldn't work. Taste is also a very ...
31
votes
2answers
5k views

What are some good ways to treat frozen vegetables such that they behave like fresh vegetables when stir frying them?

Forgive me for being a novice. I like having frozen spinach, onions, broccoli, and vegetables since they're convenient and don't spoil. But I only know the practices for cooking, and in particular, ...
30
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4answers
103k views

When is a cooking oil not appropriate to substitute for another?

Frequently recipes call for a particular kind of oil for making use of certain characteristics (taste, heat tolerance, health, etc.). It's well known you can substitute cooking oils in most cases (...
26
votes
7answers
58k views

Can extra virgin olive oil be used for stir frying, roasting, grilling?

I'd like to use extra virgin olive oil for the above mentioned cooking methods as opposed to other oils/butter. Are there any downsides to it, or can it be used safely in all those cooking methods? Is ...
25
votes
6answers
86k views

What do “virgin” and “extra virgin” mean in regards to olive oil?

I have seen the terms "virgin" and "extra virgin" on bottles of olive oil. What do these terms mean, and how do they affect the flavor and cooking properties of the oil?
24
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7answers
11k views

I used olive oil to finish my salad serving utensils - now what?

I recently received some homemade unfinished wood salad serving utensils as a gift, and like a dummy, I figured it would be safe to rub them down with some olive oil. Now, I've learned that since ...
24
votes
8answers
272k views

How to keep my (deep frying) oil usable as long as possible?

I have a new deep fryer. I am pleased with its results so far. I am not a 'heavy user' though - say once every 2-3 weeks. I want to re-use the oil a couple of times. The deep fryer is covered but not ...
23
votes
6answers
216k views

What oil is best for seasoning a cast-iron skillet

I just cleaned up a rusty cast-iron skillet and I would like to season it. The thing is that I don't have lard handy and I'm wondering whether any of my other oils and fats would do. I have: canola, ...
23
votes
4answers
31k views

What is meant by “cook until the oil separates” in Indian curry recipes?

A lot of Indian curry recipes have a step where you're told to cook an onion-tomato-spices mixture "until the oil separates". Despite having tried cooking such recipes a number of times already, I ...
23
votes
6answers
45k views

How do I press avocadoes to make avocado oil?

Avocado oil is expensive and I've been trying to figure out a solution to make my own. I'd love to make a press (I do woodworking) but I haven't found anything online. Is there a way to extract ...
21
votes
2answers
130k views

Conversion rule: how to switch oil and butter?

Just a moment ago, I was making muffins. The recipe calls for 125ml oil. As a footnote, it says that you can replace the oil with 125g butter. Can you do so in every recipe (not just muffins or ...
20
votes
8answers
12k views

Steaming with oil instead of water

Can you cook some foods just placing them in a metal frame above hot oil? In the same way as steaming vegetables, but with oil. Is that a thing?
20
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2answers
2k views

Why does rapeseed oil turn sticky but coconut oil doesn't?

Whenever I season my cast iron pan with canola/rapeseed oil it turns sticky after a few weeks. It also gets sticky on the bottle and glues the cap on sometimes. When I season it with coconut oil, it ...
19
votes
5answers
30k views

Cooking steak in frying pan, problem with oil splatter

I was using canola oil and put the stove top setting on "high - 9". I read plenty of guides suggesting there will infact be oil splatter, but it was pretty excessive and burning my arm with one drop ...
19
votes
6answers
110k views

What happens if I use vegetable oil in a cake?

I want to bake a cake out of baking mix bought at a shop. The mix already contains flour, baking soda, vanillin, other minor components. The manual says I need to add butter. I'd like to use ...
19
votes
13answers
275k views

What oil to use when cooking steak, and what difference does it make?

When cooking steak, I have always been told groundnut oil is the best to use. But what difference does it make? Is it the best? And if it is the best, what's the next best?
18
votes
5answers
149k views

Substituting butter for oil: Does it matter for baked goods?

When a recipe (like for muffins) calls for vegetable oil, does it matter if I substitute the oil for butter because I want that buttery taste in the muffins? Do I need to compensate for the ...
18
votes
2answers
7k views

Is it safe to cook with food grade mineral oil?

There is a thing such as "food grade mineral oil". Does "food grade" means it is safe to cook with? I know it is used widely for oiling cutting boards. Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (...
17
votes
3answers
154k views

What is meant by “neutral” oils?

What is meant by "neutral" oils? Conversely, what would make an oil not neutral? When is it important that the oil be neutral (or not)?
16
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13answers
80k views

How to clean a clogged Misto oil sprayer/spritzer?

I use a Misto oil spritzer. You fill it up with oil and pump it up and spray a pan with it. It's gotten clogged up so that it just squirts a steady stream of oil (not a spray). Any ideas how to ...
16
votes
4answers
5k views

Recipe calls for a heaping teaspoon of a liquid ingredient

I'm looking at a recipe for chickpeas (garbanzo beans) roasted in a spice mix, which looks yummy, but I'm confused by some items in the ingredients list. I'm happy with this: 1 heaping teaspoon ...
16
votes
5answers
12k views

Is it really necessary to properly heat oil in a pan before frying veggies?

As an example, we often lightly fry onions in (preferably) Olive Oil before adding them to any number of dishes, such as scrambled eggs for breakfast. My talented cooking friends frequently remind me,...
16
votes
6answers
18k views

dry garlic in oil --> botulism risk?

My girlfriend and I are thinking of preparing some flavored oils for Christmas presents this year (don't tell anyone!). We've read online that fresh garlic presents a health hazard when stored at room ...
15
votes
4answers
17k views

Is there a way to make delicious donuts with a small amount of oil?

I like donuts but I don't make them at home because for a bowl of donuts I consume a lot of oil. The oil gets a sweet taste to it afterwards and can't reuse it for cooking something else than cakes. ...
15
votes
3answers
5k views

Olive oil in Japanese cooking

I recently ventured a bit outside my usual European cooking and started making recipes from a "westernized" Japanese cookbook I was gifted. Some recipes for salads call for "vegetable oil" in the ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

If a US recipe specifies 'vegetable oil' what type of oil should I use in the UK?

The recipe requires heating the 'vegetable oil' to exactly 375 degrees Fahrenheit with the aid of a candy thermometer. But aren't most oils made from vegetables? Some have a smoke point less than 375....
15
votes
4answers
11k views

Suitable oil for woking?

I know some oil is not suitable for woking. Like sunflower oil and olive oil? What oil is best suitable for woking and which oil is not suitable?
15
votes
3answers
67k views

What is the purpose of oil or butter in bread?

Specifically in wheat and potato breads, what is the purpose of adding oil or butter to the dough? I have always assumed it was just for flavor, but I suspect there is some background chemical ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

Why should I use olive oil?

So many recipes list olive oil in the ingredients, as the oil to fry things in. What are the benefits or reasons that I should use olive oil over regular generic "cooking oil" and should I always use ...
14
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the difference between normal oils and cooking oils?

I am not proficient in cooking but I have one question which I am not able to figure out. I have read on internet some oils should be used for dressing, other for cooking. But to me, they all look ...
14
votes
2answers
8k views

Garlic and oil emulsion

A few days back I was making garlic bread. I had pressed garlic into olive oil, added a little salt, and forgot about it for a good half hour or so. When I came back to it, I stirred it up a bit, and ...
14
votes
3answers
11k views

How are Belgian fries different than the average French fries found in North America?

How do Belgian fries differ from the French fries we are accustomed to eat in the US and Canada in such places as McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and so on? Is it the variety of potato, the ...
13
votes
8answers
10k views

Why doesn't oil burn and produce smoke at restaurants?

At home when you want to deep-fry something, if you leave the heat on for a minute or two more than you should have, the oil starts to burn and produce smoke. Why doesn't this happen at restaurants ...
13
votes
10answers
123k views

Which oils or fats make the crispiest roast potatoes?

Which oil or fat is the best option for crispy on the outside fluffy on the inside roast potatoes?
13
votes
1answer
3k views

Preserving culinary oils

I've been making a chili oil and green onion oil for my friends for months with a lot of interest in buying. I want to start selling it at farmers markets & stores but want to ensure it is ...
13
votes
3answers
76k views

No oil on non-stick pans?

My boyfriend is convinced that a non-stick coating on a pan (Teflon, seasoned cast iron, eco-ceramic, what have you) is equivalent to eliminating the need for using any cooking oil whatsoever. Is ...
13
votes
5answers
39k views

Does oil evaporate?

The oil is said to be evaporate at very high temperatures but while cooking something in pan with oil, is the smoke that goes upwards because of oil evaporation? If not why does the chambers of ...
13
votes
7answers
8k views

Why does oil transfer heat to food more gradually than water?

While working on the homework for week 2 of Harvardx's Edx course, SPU27x Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science, I came across this question: The difference in the ...
13
votes
6answers
66k views

Sesame Oil vs Toasted Sesame Oil

I normally purchase sesame oil from an Asian market, but this time I bought it from the grocery store. I primarily use sesame oil for making stir-fried cashew chicken in a wok on the stovetop. ...
13
votes
1answer
57k views

How do you figure out how much oil to use for pan frying?

How do you go about figuring how much oil to use for frying? Off the top of my head, I can think of a number of factors such as the type of food, how well you want to cook it, the type of oil, the ...
12
votes
3answers
20k views

Is cooking with olive oil bad or toxic?

I've heard that cooking with olive oil is bad for you and can be toxic. Is this true? If so, to what extent? I see no warning on the container of my olive oil that states that it would be bad to ...
12
votes
6answers
37k views

Must rice always be cooked with some oil or lard?

I'm a totally amateur "cook" and I was always taught that before I cook rice, I have to add some oil or lard to it and cook in that. But why is it necessary? Once I forgot it and everything was the ...
12
votes
3answers
7k views

What's the crud in the pan with potatoes and oil?

Sometimes I make sautéed potatoes. I dice the potatoes into little cubes about 1cm or less to a side, then cook them in a pan with about 1-2Tbsp of hot oil. The result is sort of like little french ...
12
votes
8answers
3k views

What oils are “required” for a decent home kitchen?

What different varieties of oil are really needed in a decent home kitchen? I ask because I've only two right now (olive & sunflower) that I try to use "correctly" but sometimes use ...
12
votes
1answer
14k views

Can you store oil in a container that is not airtight?

I've have seen that several chefs and home cooks (e.g. my mom) store oils like canola and olive in ceramic or glass bottles with pour spouts that are not sealed. An example of this can be found on ...

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